A recent shoulder injury has preventhed me from doing astronomy outreach. On October 21, 2014 I tore my left rotator cuff while removng my telescope from my pickup truck. I wil be gettin arthroscopic surgery February 9, 2015 to reattach the tendon to my shoulder blade. After that comes five weeks in a sling, and then a few months of rehabilitation. I should be able to resume travelling with my telescope this fall.
A composite photograph of every Partial Solar Eclipse I have witnessed in my lifetime. It is truly amazing how you can precisely place yourself by location, time and circumstance in your lifetime of remembering eclipses:
March 7, 1970
I was a 13 year old boy. I set up my 60mm refractor in my backyard at 6418 Emory Drive in Brook Park, Ohio. I projected the image of the sun onto white poster board. I did not take any photograph as I did not have a camera. The image is a simulation from TheSky program.
July 10, 1972. I was 15 years old. I set up my 60mm refractor in the front yard at 430 Kenmore Drive in Evansville, Indiana. I projected the image of the sun onto white poster board. I did not take any photograph as I did not have a camera. The image is a simulation from TheSky program.
December 10, 1977, I was a 20 year old Airman Second Class in the Air Force, stationed at Reese AFB near Lubbock, Texas. I set up my 60mm refractor in the back of the Jet Engine Shop and projected the solar image onto white card stock. I then took a photo using a Yashica 35mm SLR camera using 400 ASA black & white film . I developed and printed the photograph at the base photo hobby shop. While viewing the eclipse, I shared the view with other sergeants and airmen. This was the first time I did astronomy outreach, and is the first astrophoto I had ever taken. Many years later I found the photo in a storage box and scanned it into a digital image.
June 10, 2002, I joined Gil Clark of the Telescopes In Education Foundation at a city park in Altadena, California. We did a solar eclipse outreach with local residents viewing. I took the photograph with my Contax 167 MT film SLR camera hard mounted at prime focus on an F6.3 focal reducer that I installed on my 10 inch Meade LX50 telescope. I used 400 ISO color film, and digitally scanned the print
May 20, 2012 I set up my 10 inch Meade LX250 Frankenscope at Hilltop Park in Signal Hill, California. This was a Telescopes In Education outreach as April Louise and Carrol Devault also participated. We had well over 100 viewers. I took this image afocally to a 40mm eyepiece using my Canon Powershot A620 digital camera.
October 23, 2014. I set up my 10 inch Meade LX250 Frankenscope at Parking Lot #38 at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital West Los Angeles Campus. I took this image afocally to a 40mm eyepiece using my Canon Powershot A620 digital camera. Two VA employees saw me from their office window and came out to see the eclipse through my telescope..
Since I posted anything new. I have had some hospitalization and I ended up living in a retirement community for military veterans at a CalVets facility that is located at the VA grounds in West Los Angeles. I still have my telescope and I recently set it up in my room so I can easily take it outside in the patio area. On October 23 I as able to image to partial solar eclipse, and two days later about 25 fellow military veterans and CALVETS employees got to see the Sun and Moon through my telescopes.
Shown is an image of the eclipse that I took using my 10 inch SCT with an F6.3 focal reducer. As usual, my imaging camera was my old Canon Powershot A620 camera.
I set up my telescope in solar astronomy mode yesterday in my very small backyard. I was able to observe the Sun in visible light and H-alpha light for a couple of hours. I imaged a large sunspot group that is associated with the solar flares we have been hearing about these past few days.
The photo shown here is of the largest sunspot group seen that day. I am amazed by the detail that shows up after processing. You can see granulation on the surface of the photosphere, and in the sunspot group you can see portions of sunspots being stretched by magnetic field lines. At this point in the 11-year solar cycle, the sun is attractive to both professional and amateur solar astronomers as it shows a lot of activity. I have read that after my imaging session , there were two solar flares. Too bad I took the setup down too soon. Maybe I will get lucky nest time around. I would love to image a solar flare in the H-Alpha telescope.
Here is the large sunspot group along with a sketch with features labeled that I got from the 150 foot solar tower at Mt. Wilson observatory:
The small seaside community of Seal Beach has an astronomy outreach event once a month. I attended the star party that was held on Saturday, June 15, and about seven telescopes were set up with their operators. I set my 10 inch SCT up after making seven trips from my vehicle lugging it all over to the park. My friend Gary Ortlieb took a lot of photos, so hopefully soon I can post them here.
I set up the Coronado Helios H-Alpha Solar Telescope on a portable German Equitorial Mount and let about 50 people view the Sun throughout the afternoon of Sunday, May 19 2013. Many of the clients were visitors from other countries. Next time I will set up my entire solar astronomy rig, including the 10 inch SCT with Baader Solar Filter.